The first day of school is just around the corner, and we know that those first-day jitters can get to both you and your students! Fear not- we’ve got your back and are here to provide you with some seriously awesome activities that’ll help everyone feel relaxed and excited about the new school year. These icebreakers are all about having a blast, connecting with your students, and setting the stage for an amazing year of learning together. Get ready to help your students conquer those first-day nerves like pros!
1. Two Truths and a Lie
Let’s kick things off with a game called Two Truths and a Lie. Here’s the deal: each of your students will come up with two true facts about themselves and one sneaky lie. Then, it’s up to you and the class to figure out which one is the fib! It’s a hilarious way to learn some fascinating facts about each other and get your students to show off their detective skills.
Learn More: Moving Writers
2. All About Me Collage
It’s time to unleash creativity with the All About Me Collage activity. Equip your students with some magazines, scissors, and glue sticks, and encourage them to let their imaginations run wild. They’ll cut out pictures and words that represent who they are, what they love, and their dreams for the future, and then paste everything onto a blank sheet of paper. When they share their collages, they’ll see just how much they have in common with their classmates and be able to celebrate their unique personalities.
Learn More: Living Well Spending Less
3. Collaborative Class Puzzle
Calling all puzzle enthusiasts! It’s time for the Collaborative Class Puzzle challenge. Break up a big picture or poster into puzzle pieces and let each student decorate their own piece. Then, when they put all the pieces together, they’ll reveal a jaw-dropping masterpiece created by the whole class.
Learn More: Art is Basic
4. Name Tag Trading
Let’s give those boring name tags a fun twist with the Name Tag Trading activity. Encourage your students to find a classmate to trade name tags with and introduce themselves as that person. This is a fantastic way for them to learn everyone’s names and make new friends right from the start of the year.
Learn More: Teachers Pay Teachers
5. Team Building Tower Challenge
Teamwork makes the dream work, right? Bring that phrase into play in your classroom with a fun team challenge. Divide your students into teams and give them cups or blocks to build the tallest tower possible. Remind them that communication, problem-solving, and cheering each other on are the keys to success. Let’s see which team can be the first to build the tallest tower!
Learn More: Teaching Science
6. Classmate Interview
Help your students unleash their inner journalist with this interview activity. Pair your students up and let them take turns asking intriguing questions to uncover awesome facts about one another. Then, they can share the most interesting tidbits with the rest of the class. It’s like hosting their very own celebrity interview show!
Learn More: Teach Hub
7. Appreciation Circle
Let’s spread some love and positivity with an appreciation circle. Position your students in a circle and have them take turns sharing something they appreciate or admire about the person to their left. This special activity is a beautiful way to boost everyone’s confidence and create a classroom where kindness is king.
Learn More: Panorama Education
8. “I Can” Share-Out
This is a powerful way to boost self-belief and create a positive atmosphere in the classroom. Encourage each of your students to grab a sticky note and write down something they feel confident about or a skill they’re determined to improve. Then, go around the class and have everyone share their “I Can” statements.
Learn More: Twinkl
9. Classmate Compliments
Spread the love by getting your students to share compliments with their classmates! Have each student write down a compliment for a classmate on a small piece of paper. Collect all the compliments and distribute them randomly; making sure each student receives a bunch of heartfelt compliments from their peers. Watch their faces light up as they read the kind words.
Learn More: Responsive Classroom
10. “Get to Know You” Bingo
Spice up the “getting to know you” process with a lively game of “Get to Know You” Bingo! Create bingo cards with different characteristics or experiences, such as “has traveled to another country” or “plays a musical instrument.” Each student will mingle with their peers to try and find classmates who match the descriptions and fill in their bingo cards.
Learn More: Literacy Learn
11. Time Capsule Letters
Let’s create a special memento by creating time capsule letters. Have each student write a letter to their future selves; sharing their hopes, goals, and excitement for the school year ahead. Collect the letters and store them in a sealed container to be opened at the end of the year.
Learn More: Sweetest Teacher
12. Secret Handshakes
This activity is a surefire way of helping your students form special bonds. Encourage students to create unique handshakes with their classmates. They can incorporate high-fives, fist bumps, or special gestures. Each time they greet their friends, they’ll get to share their secret handshake!
Learn More: Pinterest
13. Collaborative Art Mural
Help your learners channel their inner artists by creating a collaborative mural! Divide a large piece of paper or a bulletin board into sections and assign each student a section to decorate. Encourage them to express themselves through art, using colors, shapes, and symbols that represent their individuality. When all the sections are complete, assemble the pieces to create a vibrant and collaborative masterpiece.
Learn More: Meri Cherry
14. Fun Facts Trivia
Get the laughter and friendly competition going with a fun game of trivia! Have students write down three interesting facts about themselves on small cards. Collect the cards, shuffle them, and read each fact aloud. The class can then guess which student the facts belong to. This game provides a hilarious way for students to learn more about each other and discover some unexpected talents or experiences.
Learn More: Teachers Pay Teachers
15. Dance Party Energizer
Let’s shake off those jitters and lighten the mood with a dance party! Choose an upbeat and catchy song and invite your students to dance and let loose. Keep this activity on hand for any time you want to give your learners a well-deserved brain break!
Learn More: Minds in Bloom